Monday, 2 August 2010
Pistachio Cream Macaron
Some say 'ons and some say 'oons, although purist may say that they're two different things. But I say I have become quite accustomed to making 'em My Tartelette style, so I say MACARON.
We have been swept away by the MasterChef Macaron mania, have we not? Let's just say I have whipped up a fair few batches of these little dome shaped biscuits myself. With soft shiny peaks that looks as if it's been kissed on the top, pretty colours of pink, green and purple, who wouldn't fall in love?
Thus far, all the shells for the macarons that I have made came from only one source, and that is from Tartelette. They have worked for me, so why not? It's a simple basic recipe, just four ingredients and the rest is up to your own imagination.
Engineering macarons relaxes the brain cells, so says My Tartelette.
Here's my twist to her recipe.
Pistachio Macarons with a Pandan Pistachio Buttercream.
For the shells:
55g almond meal
55g shelled natural pistachios
200g pure icing sugar
90g egg whites
30g castor sugar
A drop of green food colouring (I didn't have any green colouring, so I used Pandan Paste*)
*To those who don't know what Pandan is, it's the leaves of a tropical plant used mainly in Asian cooking. The juice from the plant is extracted from chopping and blending up the leaves, and then straining them. You get an intense green coloured liquid with a lovely fragrance. We can't grow them here in Melbourne, so I got the Pandan Paste from the Asian Grocer.
Hop over here to see the method for this recipe.
Now for the filling, I was looking for a buttercream recipe that sort of allows me to use the technique that Gary Mehigan used for his Gateau Opera. (But the amount of butter he uses is phenomenal!)
So I searched through some of my favourite food blogs and came across this from Sea Salt With Food.
50 g Egg Whites
100 g Sugar
150 g Unsalted Butter, softened
50 g Pistachio Paste**
Instead of whisking the egg whites and sugar over a bain marie, I followed step 4 in the Gateau Opera recipe.
Step 4: For the butter cream, dampen sugar with a little water in a saucepan, place onto stove and bring to boil, brushing edges down with pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystallisation. Bring the syrup to soft boil (121°C). Meanwhile whisk egg (whites) until light and fluffy on high speed in an electric mixer. Once sugar has come up to temperature, add to eggs in a slow thin stream, whisking continuously until all has been added. Continue to beat on low speed until the mixture cools to room temperature (this best done in bench top mixer). Once cool, gradually add butter and (pistachio and pandan paste), beating until well combined.
What I achieved was something I didn't expect after all these years of making buttercreams for the kid's birthday cakes! A smooth, soft and buttery consistency (not too sweet) and not having to use ANY icing sugar. Sifting icing sugar is so labour intensive!
**OK. Here comes my favourite part of the whole recipe! The pistachio paste. I was wondering how and where on earth I would be able to get this from. So I put 45g of shelled pistachios in a small food processor and blend it to a meal. Then I added 1/4 tsp of Pandan Paste and gave it a few pulse until it is blended through. The aroma of the pandan and pistachio was just a perfect match! Seriously, you must try this!
Nope, not pandan leaves. But just a pot of lemon thyme I got from the market last Friday. Their little leaves are just too cute don't you think? I just needed to have a picture of them taken.
One last thing, the buttercream is enough for 2 shell recipes. And I would love to have doubled the amount of the pistachio pandan paste for next time for a more intense flavour and colour.